It’s a boy! A male red panda! The Toronto Zoo has welcomed its newest member and his name is the cutest ever.
Paprika, the four-year-old red panda, gave birth to Baby Spice (a la Spice Girls), a 221 kg cub, on July 13.
Red pandas are an endangered species with a small wild population of about 2,500 to 10,000, according to the zoo. The species is believed to be in decline, reducing its population by 50 percent in just 20 years.
The zoo said Paprika and her cub are doing well and shared video of the couple cuddling and bathing on Thursday.
Baby Spice is the fourth red panda born at the zoo in 25 years, an incredible achievement for first-born paprika and father Suva.
The pair were introduced when Paprika was brought to the zoo in 2021 as a potential mate for Suva.
To give mom and baby peace of mind and give them time to bond, neither Paprika nor Baby Spice will be visible to the public at this time.
Red pandas are small mammals native to the Himalayas and China and known for their red and brown fur. Despite their name, red pandas are not related to giant pandas and are more closely related to raccoons and skunks.
The last red panda baby was born at the Toronto Zoo in 2020. Red pandas also have another connection to Toronto thanks to Domee Shi’s Turning Red Pixar film, set in Canada’s largest city.